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Starting to plan a college EDC...

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by cosine, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. cosine

    cosine Loaded Pockets

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    In a little less than a month I'm going to be starting at Marquette University, and want to put together an EDC I'll carry around with me in my backpack. Since I'm going to be commuting, I just need the stuff to get me through the day, along with a little extra in case of some wrinkles! (minor emergencies, etc.)

    So far I've thought of:
    First aid kit, with latex gloves and a mouth barrier (self-explanatory)
    A small (5-7 inch) relatively flat crowbar (might need to pry a window open for egress, or elevator doors)
    Knifeless Leatherman Fuse (it's a college campus, so I think knives are going to be frowned upon)
    Surefire G2
    Inova X5
    Keychain can of pepper spray or similar
    Whistle
    50-100 feet of paracord
    A couple carabiners

    Any suggestions for a backpack/bag in which to lug around all this stuff, along with my laptop, textbooks, notebooks, etc.?


    Any other ideas? Any suggestion for specific equipment? Anything you'd recommend substituting for something else? Anything on that list you think is unnecessary?
     
  2. MSCantrell

    MSCantrell Loaded Pockets

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    I don't think this is a good enough reason to deprive yourself!

    If you look at the rules, and the rules say absolutely no knives of any type or size ever, and you choose to ignore it until somebody notices, I would think that's a reasonable plan of action. That's what I did in college (just a few years ago), and never ran into a speck of trouble.

    If you look at the rules, and the rules say no knives, and you choose to refrain from carrying a knife out of respect for the rules, that's a good plan too.

    If you read the rules, and they DON'T forbid knives, I'd suggest carrying one. It's a doggone useful tool.

    But at the same time, if you don't WANT to carry a knife, out of concern for your safety, or others' safety, or moral reasons, or anything else, then by all means, refrain.

    But don't go unprepared just because you think it's possible that someone might give you a hairy eyeball about your knife!

    Bottom line, what I'm saying is, make sure you're making an informed decision about it... look into it! :)
     
  3. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

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    Make sure your first aid kit contains over the counter meds like ibuprofen, Immodium, antacid, an antihistimine, etc.
     
  4. carlcastle

    carlcastle Empty Pockets

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    I just finished college and did pretty good w/ a Blackhawk Patrolman's bag. http://www.blackhawk.com/product1.asp?P=20PMG1BK&C=C1175

    I Don't care for their products anymore but I worked well enough at the time. I was able to carry books, notepads, pens/pencils, EDC stuff, etc.....I didn't have a laptop so I don't know if the added weight would have made carrying a bag like that w/ a sholder strap more difficult.

    I thought it worked better than a backpack for many reason, one being because it stood upright allowing it to sit to my side or under my chair and be easy access for quick changes during notetaking w/o having to make tons of noise like a bpack would.
     
  5. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Congrats on starting college, cosine.

    I think you got the basics covered. I'll also support Mike's opinion about knives. Check first and then decide what you can carry. I'm at a land grant institution, and I keep spotting knives everywhere.

    I don't know if you have a laptop, but that (and a suitable bag to carry it in) may be something worth looking into. Related to geeky tech toys, a USB drive of some sort, a PDA to keep your schedule, to-do lists, etc., mp3 player will come in handy.
     
  6. Lugsalot

    Lugsalot EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The "no weapons policy" at my local JC is not strictly enforced. The only time I was ever hassled by a JC police officer was when my friend and I were hanging out in the quad and trying to see who could draw and open his knife faster. Yeah...stupid. Of course, the cop's fairy-tale about "gravity knives" was about as silly.

    Regardless, I think it's a good idea to know the rules wherever you go and make all your decisions informed ones, as others have suggested. A choice between leaving gear at home and having said gear confiscated/being disciplined really isn't a choice at all.

    If possible, I'd see about carrying your EDC gear in such a way as to avoid mixing it in with your school stuff. If I were putting together a college EDC bag, I'd keep all the EDC stuff in separate pouches kept inside the backpack or added to the outside (as with Maxpedition's modular packs). That way you can adjust the contents of your pack without dealing with a lot of loose stuff.

    Can't make any bag suggestions, as I'm kind of trying to educate myself in that area currently, but I would suggest that you *really* do your homework on pepper spray before you buy. Do a search in the forums, as I'm sure it's been discussed here before. Also, carry as many pairs of gloves as you can, and make them non-latex ones, as they tend to last longer.

    That's about all I can think of now. I'm overdue for assembling my own kit and you've got me thinking again...
     
  7. luigi

    luigi Loaded Pockets

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    From my years at college I suggest you to add some edibles to your kit.
    Chips, cookies, cereal bars, candies, whatever you like.
    Sometimes you really need some quick fuel for your brain and some handy sugar or carbs is a good idea. In the middle of a lecture a candy can help your stomach before you run to the cafeteria to buy something.

    Luigi
     
  8. Versatek

    Versatek Loaded Pockets

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    I'll add a couple things, too.

    RE: Food - make sure something you have is quiet to open, like Starbursts or LifeSavers. Unless you want to draw your instructor's attention with rustling celophane.

    Computer or garden stores sell rolls of 1/2"x8" Velcro wraps (50 or 100 per roll; I don't remember). Handiest little things! Make a small roll of several to keep in your bag.

    A few assorted nylon zip-ties.

    If you decide to go knifeless, the Gerber Solstice is a handy little tool with a decent sized scissors and screwdrivers.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. ironraven

    ironraven Empty Pockets

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    You should have or be able to get online a copy of the student handbook. Look there for the answer of "can I have a knife", not security, not the dean. That is the printed policy that is made available to you the student, and if any one tries to come down on you, you just show them that and stand your ground. Odds are a pocket knife is fine, while that can of pepper spray will get you in hot water.

    Some of it also depends on your major. I want to an engineering college- if everyone had to give up their knives and multitools at the lunch table, it would have been ten or twelve pounds of stuff for 16 people (we put tables together), and that is not counting flashlights, screwdrivers, pliers, files, pry bars, and lock picks. And half my crew was on the student council or judicial board! :laugh:

    As for stuff I saw missing on your list and other's suggestions....

    -Thumbdrive. Get two, 2GB is fine.
    -Get applications here for your thumb drive. These leave no permanent traces on a lab machine, and between OpenOffice and Firefox, you're covered for pretty much everything. The really nice thing is you can set them up, as far as toolbars and hotkeys and bookmarks as you like, and it will always be in the same place.
    -Water bottles. Sucking soda will add most of that "freshman ten", and drain your bank account. Fill it from the taps, and add something to it.
    -Ear plugs, work gloves.
    -Prepaid phone card.
    -A flashlight that runs on AA or AAA batteries. CR123s are wonderful, but on a college budget, not EDC friendly
    -Spare batteries for your MP3 player, flashlight, calculator (if you need a good one, otherwise go solar)

    -DATEBOOK. I can not stress this one enough. EVERY reading assignment, EVERY paper, EVERY lab, EVERY appointment, EVERY receipt goes in there. That will become your pocket memory. Otherwise, you will miss something.

    Tip- do NOT combine your ID with a debit or credit card. Too many funny things can happen with that data, and I lost or broke a lot of IDs while in college.

    Tip- befriend the janitor for your dorm/floor. These are good people to know, they sometimes know more about how admin works than your academic adviser does and a lot more about the day to day workings of the campus.


    As for a pack... It isn't the most tacticool out there, but an LL Bean Continental Rucksack saw me through four years of high school, six years of college, and more than a few overnights. It is my best bang for the buck. And the straps on the top flap can be laced through MOLLE webbing if you want, so you could add an expansion pouch on the top.

    I also know several guys who used a surplus medium ALICE pack without the frame. It is a big beast for this purpose, but if you want something that will carry every thing you need all day....
     
  10. cosine

    cosine Loaded Pockets

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    I looked up the student handbook the other day. Here's what it said regarding knives, pepper spray, etc.:
    The only restriction seems to be against knives in the residence halls. Since I'm commuting, having my SAK in my pocket and my Fuse in my backpack looks like it should be okay. I haven't been able to find and printed policy regarding pepper spray, so, I'll assume it's okay.

    I already have a couple of thumbdrives, I figured they'd be a given. Water bottles too, I rarely drink soda and have been planning for a while to use the bubblers liberally and fill up the bottle when I need to. Datebook too I figured was a given. I like the idea of a few zip-ties.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Keep 'em coming.
     
  11. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Don't assume anything. Best thing you can do is call your campus Public Safety Dispatch and ask directly. Ask what they mean by "knife" - folder, fixed blade, size of blade, etc.? Same goes with pepper spray.

    Hey, look, the don't mention kubatons! ;D
     
  12. Rob72

    Rob72 Loaded Pockets

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    Forgiveness or permission...? Regarding defense, and having spent my working life in hospitals and University hospitals, I am an advocate of keeping your head down, and mouth shut. Bottom line- you need to go home at the end of the day. Most campus incidents are the mugging variety (at least against males), so OC is not a bad idea. If you have to use it (justifiably), campus PD may scold you, but there isn't much they can do or say, especially if they think you might "go public".

    I can tell you with reasonable certainty, if you ask, the answer will be "No". It is more acceptable for most Boards of Trustees to be able to say an assailant "violated the rules", than "allow" students the responsibility of defense.

    Be polite, be courteous, and keep what you carry quiet and be quiet about what you carry. ;)

    Might I suggest a tourniquet for your aid kit? As VT demonstrated, it can be distressing for an injured person to have to make and apply their own, while blocking a door. :mad:

    The following questions may be helpful as well:
    1) Can you wedge a doorway or elevator door?
    2) Can you stop bleeding and/or deliver CPR safely?
    3) Can you cause grievous injury to an assailant?
    4) Can you break a window?
    5) In the event of fire, do you have something to filter your respiration?
    6) Got some emergency snacks, for the "imponderables of life"?

    Have fun! ;D
     
  13. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    *cough*that'sgreatadvise*cough*
     
  14. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    I'll tell you what I EDC. I live on a campus so it is a little bit different, but having a lot of stuff crammed into your bag and pockets will probably draw (unwanted?) attention.

    Keyring - Lanyard, keys, Victorinox Classic, Fenix E0, Inka Pen
    Cell phone (Moto RAZR)
    Prybaby
    McLux PD-S
    Victorinox Spirit
    A pocket knife (Spyderco Para-Military or Caly3, sometimes augmented by a Victorinox Soldier)
    Full sized pen (whatever I grab off my desk, usually Pilot EasyTouch Med)
    Wallet (ID + cash + cards + bandaids)
    Carabiner

    My thoughts:
    My campus is very safe, so I don't usually carry pepper spray (I have two canisters). I figure if I need to defend myself it'll be a much more serious incident than I'd use pepper spray for.

    Having a two-stage light means you only need to carry one main one, and if it's as expensive as mine you'll never be inclined to lend it. If you can find a two-stage light that suits your needs appropriately, then you can downsize your carry a bit.

    Except in rare cases, nobody will hassle you over a Swiss Army Knife. If you want to carry a knife and you know the restrictions on such are pretty heavy, then a Swiss Army Knife usually goes unnoticed, especially with the fatter ones. At my school there are a surprisingly large amount of people with knives and nobody's gotten dinged for having one or two knives yet, hence I carry whatever I want. No matter what knifes/multitools you pick, if you use it calmly and not flash it around nobody will care. I walk around with my black Spyderco Para-Military (not a friendly looking knife) all the time cutting apple wedges.

    I will be carrying a USB thumbdrive this next semester. I rarely needed one last semester, but when you need one, nothing else will do. I'll also be adding an iPod Nano to my EDC, for the downtime between classes and to help concentration in noisy environments.

    For your laptop, I highly recommend finding a laptop sleeve for it, preferably something zippered and neoprene. You can then stow your laptop into any bag of your choosing, knowing it will be safe from debris and impact. If you have/get a Mac, then the best cases I have seen for those are the "InCase" brand.

    Here's a pointer when picking a bag: try not to be too tactical -- you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Camping stores (REI, EMS, etc) have nice bags that don't look too tactical with plenty of pockets and will fit right in at a college campus, and are an excellent place to start looking for a bag. I've really liked the Jansport and North Face bags I've seen... Timbuk2, too. A good bag is expensive but will last a long time.
     
  15. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    Just saw the Maxpedition MPB. Looks like a great contender for an EDC bag on campus.
     
  16. dyyys1

    dyyys1 Loaded Pockets

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    What would you suggest for this? Do you carry a door stop with you? :)
     
  17. ironraven

    ironraven Empty Pockets

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    It is identical to the one at my old school. I think it is a generic thing.

    That being said, security knew I had a Ka-bar in my tool kit and my roommate openly carried a short fixed blade on his belt and used it daily. *shrugs* Your milage will vary, but I've observed that this is often something akin to "burgler tools". A friend of mine had a wooden wu-shu sword for his daily meditation, which he did on the green in front of Admin half the time. On the other hand, the guy who chased people with the plastic boken while drunk got gigged on weapons violation. :p I"d take Rob's advise to heart- if you aren't a problem, odds are you can stash it with security or mail it home without trouble.

    As for wedging the door... A wooden wedge and some metal strips or rounds (pennies) works wonderfully.
     
  18. WhatMACHI

    WhatMACHI Loaded Pockets

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    Honestly speaking i think you are a bit TOO prepared for college life. If i had to carry all that along with my books or a laptop i'd get a bit sick of it. I would try keep the extra carry down to something a bit larger than a pencil case.
     
  19. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    I've never seen anyone make good use of a laptop in college. In a many cases, I think easy access to the laptop was more detrimental to the student than helpful. People chatting on AIM or playing games during lectures, surfing the internet when they should be studying (or sleeping), trying to type out essays outside while surrounded by distractions.

    Don't get a single strap pack if you're carrying a laptop or books. Your neck and back will thank you.
     
  20. projectdp

    projectdp Loaded Pockets

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    Domke F-802 for the bag. Taking a math course this summer.

    From top to bottom:
    Math book, "Five Star" brand 5 subject notebook, one large grid print legal pad, and one regular college ruled legal pad, pens.

    Left to right:
    Tissue, HipsterPDA (or a stack of notecards -- grid print, and regular ruled plus binder clip), post-it page thingies, highlighter, TI-83+

    [img width=640 height=428]http://www.projectdp.com/imglink/edc07.jpg[/img]

    Another view and yet another!. Took these shots just for you cosine :roof: :luck: .